08-16-2018 Why do they call them Dog Days?

Current Location: Sunset House in Grants Pass at 75 degrees F at 9pm

I read my last post, just to take a moment to catch up with myself.  I needed to remember what I had written and hopefully not repeat myself.  Ahh, yes, I was raving about how incredibly gorgeous the summer had been thus far, blue skies, no fires, no smoke to mar the air.  Tonight, as I write, I can count 30 consecutive days of smoke filled skies, with air quality ranging from a fabulous “Moderate” (once or twice) to a more normal Very Unhealthy or Hazardous.  This has been the case every single day except one, last Sunday, when a breeze blew in from the west and for one fresh air filled day we had a taste of what summer could be like in our beautiful Southern Oregon.

This is not our house, it is across the street toward the east, and this is the side where the new fence will be located, about as high as the neighbors current chain link fence.  Ours will be wood.

It is hard to maintain a sense of balance when it is like this.  Not only is the world dimmed to a dull grayish brown and the sun to an angry red-orange, there are the horror stories on the news about the progress of the literally dozens of fires that surround us.  Stories of evacuations and misery abound.  It wears on one’s soul, deeply. 

I went to the store this morning, and in the process noticed that I was very easily irritated, like my scratchy eyes, my spirit felt scratchy.  I saw myself reacting quickly to the smallest inconveniences, angry at stupid people, frustrated with lack of supplies on the shelves.  I realized that I was getting all gritchy on an average of every 30 seconds or so.  What a waste of energy!  Noticing did help a bit, I tried to slow down and pay attention to myself, to stop the constant nasty internal outbursts at slow old people, fast little people, stupid drivers, and the constant brown sky.

I am not always like this, in fact I am not really often like this.  Sometimes, even in the midst of the nasty smoke, hot temperatures and ugly air, I can find true happiness.  Toward the end of July, about 2 weeks into the fire smoke season, Mo and I drove through the verdant and lovely Applegate Valley on a Thursday afternoon.  The Red Lily winery is among our favorites, and there we shared food truck goodies and a bottle of truly epic wine in big red chairs beside the river as we listened to the great music and watched all the happy people.  The sun was orange-red on that day as well, and yet I somehow found joy.

If you read my facebook, you probably already saw this, or who knows, it might have scrolled right past you, but either way, I wanted to repeat it here because it made me happy, and I don’t want to lose that feeling that I had that evening sitting by the river.

“Joy. It comes at the strangest times. I can’t call it in, and have no clue what makes it come, but when it does, I am in awe. Tonight, watching the red sun through the smoke as we sat along the Applegate River at Red Lily Vineyards, I felt awash in Joy. Listening to great music, drinking truly great wine, watching families and friends having fun together, I felt it. Overwhelming joy. I forgot my camera, forgot my phone, just had to experience it in the moment. Wondering if the fact that I didn’t have any kind of way to record the moment made it even more precious. When I got home, I ran outside with the camera, capturing the red sun setting through the smoke of the Taylor Fire just west of Grants Pass. Still remembering those precious moments of inexplicable joy. Treasuring the clarity of fresh air beneath the smoke, the mountains in the distance opened up from some unknown wind.”

I have also learned in this last 30 days to look downward, to look up close at the world.  Skip the sweeping vistas, they are invisible anyway, and just look at what is right in front of me.  We haven’t done a lot in the last few weeks, other than hang around home, working in the yard in the mornings, avoiding the worst of the heat and smoke, walking the dog in the evenings after it settles down a bit.

All thoughts of local hikes and kayak trips evaporated with the fires that began with a wild thunderstorm that crossed most of Northern California and Southern Oregon on July 15.  That very day Mo and I had driven south along the Applegate River to visit a beautiful lavender farm that opened up to the public for the 2018 Lavender Festival.  We have the Applegate Wine Trail, and we also have the Applegate Lavender Trail, with 15 farms participating.

The small acreage was beautiful, abuzz with bees and lovely people walking around picking their lavender bundles.  We ate lavender ice cream and listened to live music on the patio, and hid from the lightning strikes that we knew would bring sadness in the coming days, but at the time, it all seemed just so lovely.

That night there were more than 1,100 lightning strikes over the Rogue Valley and the Siskiyou Mountains, and the fires that started then are still raging all around us.  The horrible Carr Fire in Redding started a bit later, with a flat tire causing sparks on the pavement that ignited an inferno that killed 7 people and destroyed over 1000 homes.  Fire season has only just begun, and there is no end in sight.  We have until October to wait for the rains to at last extinguish the fires, but until then, anything goes.  Fire/smoke season in Oregon, in the entire West, is now a reality, and something that must be planned for always.  If you travel here, don’t come during fire season.  It has happened every single year now since 2012, and most years prior to that since the Biscuit Fire in 2002.

I wanted to write a blog, wanted to fill the empty space that is July and August in my memory banks, but as I write I can see how very much the fires and the smoke affect everything that I do.  So with that out of the way, maybe now I can think and write about some of the sweetness.

Early in July, Merikay and Craig of Merikay’s Dream decided to visit while they were camped at Valley of the Rogue State Park just a few miles south.  I cooked up a good supper, Merikay brought yummy cheesecake, and we showed them around Sunset House before settling in for dinner and a rousing game of that silly card game we learned last spring from John and Carol of “Our Trip Around the Sun”.  We had such a good time neither of us remembered to take any photos! Merikay and Craig are cruising around the Pacific Northwest and John and Carol are living the lifetime dream of traveling through Alaska in their motorhome. 

Mid July I drove back over the Cascades to Rocky Point to help out the quilt group with the annual Rocky Point BBQ, the major fund raiser for the local volunteer fire department.  It was great seeing old friends, and I invited the entire group to Sunset House for a get together, maybe some quilting, and maybe some crafting. 

None of this particular group of friends had been over the mountain to visit Sunset House, so I had fun showing them around, and they enjoyed seeing the real thing after all the photos I have shared of our house and the process of building it.

I actually baked a couple of epic quiches, one vegetarian and one traditional with all the bacon I could fit.  We laughed and talked, and then managed to make a big mess of fun with shaving cream and water color paints making marbleized art pieces for handmade greeting cards. It was a silly thing, but we had fun doing it.  Mo isn’t part of the quilt group, but all the women have been friends of hers long before I showed up on the Rocky Point scene.  It was a good day.

I especially enjoyed showing off the fabulous quilting done by Janna from Restoration Cowboy Style on my One Block Wonder quilt. She did an amazing job and the quilt ladies were duly impressed, Janna! I have been doing a bit of quilting on hot days as well, working on a big blooming nine patch with brilliant fabrics.  I hope to have Janna quilt it, but will probably have to wait until spring because I am not going to get it done in time.  I never sewed so many little nine patches, ever!

For everyday entertainment, I have been working on small landscaping projects while Mo works on fixing up her workshop.  Mo decided that a bit of help would be nice, and invited her brother Dan and his wife Chere down for a visit and a consultation on just how to construct the new porch overhang for the small building.

This photo of the old shed is from 2013.  Fires then as well. Look closely at the skinny blue door on the right, that is the same door on the right of what is left of the building in the photo below. 

I thought it might be fun to throw in a shot of the old outbuilding from the days when we first owned the property.  Most of it is gone now except for the main part of the building

She has been working on it for some time now, caulking and trimming, getting all the old wood cleaned up and painted.  Before winter there will be a new roof and a new porch overhang, a place for her to use her saws with some protection from the weather, but not inside the building with all that sawdust getting into everything.

It is always fun spending time with Dan and Chere, and having them here for a couple of days was wonderful. We ate good food both at home and at a great restaurant in Grants Pass we hadn’t tried before, Blondie’s Bistro.  First thing I noticed was that the balsamic reduction on the salad was every bit as good as any I have had, including my own. Actually, sometimes I burn mine and it ends up like caramel, and once it even turned into a sticky candy mess.  So I do really appreciate a good balsamic reduction.

My gardening projects have been small, mostly getting more shrubs planted, and adding mulch to the borders around the house.  With our heat, mulch makes all the difference, keeping roots cool enough, and within days after putting down the mulch, the plants look happier.  We don’t yet have an automatic sprinkler system, so my mornings are spent watering, lots of hand watering.  It is a job I really love, contemplative and quiet, and it gives me a chance to visit with each plant and flower, and check in on them.

We took in bids for a new fence along street side of the house and with the company 8 weeks out, I may not see the fence before I leave for Italy in September.  We also contracted to get a sun shade for the porch.  We love the view, but the western sun at dinner time is a bit much to bear.  Whenever we have company, we pull down the brown sheet that has served for shelter until the shade arrives.  It’s the little things.

We took the MoHo to Guaranty of Junction City, Oregon  for an all around check up and going through, making sure everything is in good order before we head off on a trip of several thousand miles.  It is a 3 hour drive, but folks from all over the country know about the service for RV’s available in Junction City, so it is worth it.

The days just seem to be so full, and I can’t really figure out why.  We are taking care of dental things, some physical therapy for Mo’s ankle and for my knee, doctor appointments to get caught up with the new doctor, going to the meat market for the Thursday sales, to the Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings for all that lovely produce coming in from the Applegate.

I water the flowers, walk the dog, clean the house, cook, do some quilting, watch some news and check out the smoky sunsets. I made applesauce with Mo’s help peeling the apples from our Gravenstein apple tree, have spent many hours working on reservations and plans for our winter trip to Florida, spent more hours working on final plans for the three week trip to Italy. 

A couple of days ago my computer started acting weird, so I tried to be sure all was backed up, and sure enough, out she went.  Probably the hard drive, and she is going to the computer doctor back in Klamath Falls when we go there this weekend.  Oh yes, there is that as well.  A tenant moved out and we spent a couple of days at the apartments cleaning up, and will spend a couple more days there this coming weekend painting for the new tenant.  Always something, it seems. 

At least I have the old laptop to fill in while the big girl gets fixed.  And of course, I am soo soo tempted to buy a new laptop.  This one is really so very old, and the plugin doesn’t work properly and it is slow, and and and…..How do you keep from buying something new and nice when you know better?

How can such little stuff keep me so busy? How can I think that all this little stuff is even worth writing about? How very few people will read to the end of this story.  Ha!  Reminds me of all those facebook memes rolling around that are really long, and at the end they say something like “you probably won’t read all of this, but if you do, copy and paste to your wall etc etc etc.”  I never do even if I DO read it all.  So don’t copy and paste, but if you made it this far, maybe you could comment.  Ha!

Nickie  (Out and About with Jimmy and Nicky) called me today to commiserate about all the smoke and heat and frustration about being house bound in summer and I think we both felt better after the phone call.  She laughed about having nothing to blog about except the grandbaby and I don’t even have that.  Still, for me, as always, it is about memory.  I need to be sure than when I return to the blog there isn’t a giant hole where July and August reside.

May–It started with Iris and Ended with Roses, and More Guests.

I lost last month somehow.  Friend Jeanne wrote a quick note making sure we were OK.  I looked at Mo and thought, “Are we OK?”

Of course we are, everything is great.  Except for a few irritating little things that just won’t seem to go away, like knees, hips, ankles, blood tests, dentists, doctors, an emergency appendectomy for Mo.  Multiply that by two people and you get the idea.  Somehow it all got away from me and the only way I could figure out where it went was to return to the trusty Google calendar, and Mo’s trusty paper pocket calendar. 

Mother’s Day weekend was upon us right after our guests, Erin and Mui, departed, and Daughter Melody and her Robert and my grandsons showed up on Saturday night to help me celebrate.  They came with grocery bags full of food and took over the kitchen to make a wonderful dinner.  I don’t think I even loaded the dishwasher! 

Melody and Robert took the guest room and we spread sleeping bags on the floor for the grandkids.  It felt like old times when I lived in my tiny house in Idaho and all the kids would come over and sleep on the floor.  Axel brought a cute video game to share, promising me that it wasn’t violent, perfectly G rated. 

My daughter took a video of me trying to figure out where I was on the screen and what in the world I was supposed to be doing.  It was great fun to share the silly game with family.

Left to right: Deborah, Matthew, Xavier, Axel, Melody, Robert, Mo

On Sunday morning we drove down to the river to our favorite Mother’s Day brunch restaurant, the TapRock Grill.  The brunch is lovely and there are no reservations taken, so we were really surprised when we arrived and were immediately shown to a table.  In years past we have waitied more than an hour, something I never minded because it is fun to see all the mothers with flowers and corsages.  Remember when all the mom’s at church got a corsage?

D

 Daughter Deborah and Grandson Matthew

Deborah and Melody brought mommy gifts, in addition to the surprise package received from Daughter Deanna in the mail, and I was treated to some amazing presents, including a spiralizer for my Kitchen Aid Mixer, and another shredding gadget for the mixer, all to help my new low carb eating plan.  Spiralized zucchini “zoodles” are a new favorite! Daughter Melody brought more magical painted rocks to add to the wondrous tiny painting she made of my favorite spot in Capitol Reef.  It was a very sweet day in the sunshine, and we repeated our traditional walk through the lovely grounds to enjoy the river, the sculptures, and the gorgeous murals.

Trying to remember what happened during the rest of the month, I looked at the blog for a bit of help, and opened to a gorgeous photo of Crater Lake, shared with Erin and Mui more than a month ago.  Once that lovely week was behind us, Mo and I settled into the home routines of mowing and more planting, watering, raking, taking more stuff to the Goodwill and the landfill, the everyday stuff of life.

Someone asked somewhere along the way on a Facebook post, “What gives your life meaning on a daily basis?”.  The question haunted me for days.  What!?  I could think of many things that give my life meaning that  happen much less often than daily.  After a few days of thinking about this, as I cleaned and cooked and laundered, and gardened, I suddenly remembered an old Buddhist proverb.  There is more to it than this, but essentially, it is Chop Wood and Carry Water.  I realized that the mundane everyday chores are what give life meaning on that daily level.  Most of the time, I enjoy those simple things, but the question made me think about it differently, helped me to pay a bit more attention to being in the now and actually paying attention to the wood chopping and water carrying of life.

Today’s simple chores include spraying the roses with Liquid Fence, the natural but very smelly reason that I can grow roses at all in a land of neighborhood deer herds.  I also spent some time picking cherries from our two trees, one with sour cherries for jams or pies, and the other with big, fat juicy sweet cherries for eating.  This year we actually got to the cherries before the birds did!.

The afternoon is warming up and I am grateful for a cool home where I can retreat and catch up on processing photos, and yes, writing this blog.

The second highlight of our “friends” month was a visit from Maryruth and Gerald.  They last visited us when the house was a mere shell, camping at Valley of the Rogue State Park in the heat of August.  This visit we had a guest room and bath to offer them, and pleasant evenings on the porch with more yummy food.

Decisions about what to do were easy, and the choice to spend the first evening and the next day doing absolutely nothing was a good one.  As a hostess, it felt a bit strange to have nothing on the agenda, but the day flowed easily with a long lazy breakfast, good conversation, drinks on the porch, and playing the card game we learned back in April from Carol and John.  Cooking for them is easy, even though Maryruth is a great cook, they both seemed quite happy with our meals.


It was a lovely week, if a bit cool, and perfect weather to explore the beautiful Applegate Valley.  The northern entrance to the valley is just a few miles south of our home. The Applegate Wine Trail is becoming quite well known in the world of wine, and the wineries are beautiful and welcoming.

Mo and I were delighted to discover that many of the vineyards have incredible gardens and outdoor seating areas that include live music and snacks on summer evenings.  With a short 7 mile drive to Schmidt Vineyards, I am sure that before the summer is over the two of us will amble down there on a Saturday evening for wine and wood fired pizzas.

Maryruth and I were the official “tasters”, and as happened before when she and I visited Napa Valley just a little over a year ago, two tastings were just about all we could handle.  The rest of the time we walked and explored, talked and visited with the very friendly wine stewards who shared their knowledge of the grapes, the wine making process, and the Applegate Valley.

Our favorite wines came from Troon Vineyards, but the second favorite was the Red Lily, with their incredible lovely dry summer rosé.  Wooldridge Vineyards had the most beautiful views, and made goat cheeses as well, and the previously mentioned Schmidt Vineyards had the most lovely gardens.

Reaching the charming little town of Jacksonville in late afternoon was perfect timing for a lovely late lunch/early dinner at Bella Union, a well known and very good restaurant in a building that dates back more than 150 years.  The shops and stores beckoned, but after our day we had no desire to shop, in spite of all the cuteness of the historic gold town.

Weather held for another day and we decided that a trip to the coast was our best choice.  Maryruth and Gerald have shared Brookings with us a few times, both at Mo’s condo she once owned in town on a cliff overlooking the ocean, and camping in a yurt at Harris Beach State Park.  This time we decided to explore Crescent City for something new and different.

Jedediah Smith State Park is on the route, and we stopped at the lovely visitor center for the Redwoods National and State Parks, including this portion of Jedediah Smith.  With lots of helpful information and maps in hand, we decided to take the packed dirt road that led past the beautiful Stout Grove and directly to Crescent City through the park rather than staying on the highway.

It was a lovely drive, and in our car, the potholes were impressive, but not daunting.  We looked for a log in the sun to spread a picnic, but no sun was to be found in that deep shade. Instead we opted for a wide place in the road to open up the hatch of the car for an al fresco lunch in the forest.

We were glad of that decision when we left the forest and drove toward Pebble Beach and saw that the winds  would have made a beachside lunch uncomfortable.  Following along on the “ten best things to do in Crescent City”, we visited the lovely lighthouse, inaccessible due to tides when we were there.  We drove Pebble Beach, and found the biggest surprise at the Del Norte County Historical Museum.

I asked if I could take photos, and the docents said they appreciated me asking, and “no”, please do not.  We wandered the three floors and many rooms of the old building, amazing at the incredible collection of “stuff”, all displayed beautifully.  The star of the show, however, was the First Order Fresnel lens that was once in the famous St George Lighthouse located in the ocean on a lonely rock just north of Crescent City.

With the chilly wind blowing hard, we didn’t spend a lot of time outdoors, stepping out now and then to walk a little bit, to look at the ocean and enjoy the surf. 

Once again we decided on a late afternoon lunch/early supper with a visit to the Chart Room, a favorite fish spot for Mo and I that we were happy to share.  Dinner was yummy!  I had a fish taco salad that was quite different than anything I had before, with excellent grilled fish on a bed of cabbage.  Sounds terribly boring, but the sauces are what made it, and I can’t begin to describe them, but really yummy., some kind of chipotle cream and a cilantro cream drizzled over it all that are making my mouth water as I write this.

The drive home was easy, just 84 miles of beautiful highway 199 along the gorgeous Smith River. We spent a last lovely evening visiting on the porch.  It is fun for Maryruth and I to remember other times in our lives when things weren’t so simple.  Somehow looking back at the hard times with someone who shared them with me makes the present good times even sweeter. 

On a final note, I will leave you with an attempted selfie that I took at Schmidt Vineyards in the gardens.  I have no idea why, but every time I see this picture I burst out laughing.  The epitome of silly.

The Applegate Wine Trail

The Applegate Wine Trail (link)

Gayle, Sue, and Mo after that first wine flightapplegate wine trailI enjoy a good glass of wine, two buck chuck or a really fine glass of Pinot Noir, it’s all fun. I spent a lot of years in California, and went wine tasting with friends in the Napa Valley when tastings were free. I am certainly not educated about wine, and usually have to read the label to know what I am supposed to be thinking when I taste something. My palate is just barely sophisticated enough to recognize oak-ey, which I love, and a few others now and then. Going wine tasting always seems to be a bit more than I want to tackle on my own, and Mo and I will drop into a tasting room now and then if it isn’t pretentious and looks like fun.

Enter our neighbors and friends, Wes and Gayle. We couldn’t ask for better neighbors, but I am a bit sorry that they are only here in the summertime. The advantage of this is that we can visit their gorgeous Tucson home during the winter months if we get down that way. Having them here in the summer is great for selfish reasons as well, since they are our house sitters when we are gone and Wes does a mean job of taking care of the lawns.

first stop the Valley View Winery near RuchWes and Gayle know how to travel and how to have fun, and one of the things they do periodically is travel the Applegate Wine Trail between Medford and Grants Pass. We all decided to spend a sunny summer day together enjoying the beautiful vineyards and wineries on the Applegate. It was fun for us since Wes did the driving and they both know the area well, including which wineries we wouldn’t want to miss and which ones might be something to save for the next trip.

beautiful gardens at the Fiasco WineryI spent most of the day in awe of the incredibly gorgeous blue skies, with just enough puffy clouds to make it interesting, breathing in the fresh air and trying to capture the brilliance of the summery moments with my camera. I couldn’t capture the smell of the grape vines, and hard as I tried, I couldn’t capture the feel of the summer breezes filled with the fragrance of rich soil, moist riverbanks, lush flowers, and leaf heavy maples, oaks, sweet gums, and all the other unnamed deciduous trees we can’t grow on our side of the mountain.

so I did!  He really was a cheery guy and very knowledgeable.  The girl is studying at OIT in Klamath Falls but works here in the summerOf course, the happy ambience created by a few tastings of vino certainly added to the warm, fuzzy feelings that I carried around with me all afternoon. Spending time with good friends doing happy things was wonderful as well.

We started at the southern end of the valley, near Ruch, Oregon, just a few miles west of Medford and Jacksonville. Valley View Winery  was one of the first in the Applegate, and while the website says it was first established in the 1850’s, the attendants mentioned that when they opened their tasting room in the early 70’s they were one of only 4 wineries in the valley.  Now there are 20 and more coming every year.

inside the Fiasco Winery is a very nice raked gravel floorI discovered that the websites tell what the tasting room policy is for tasting fees, which might have been nice to know ahead of time.  Wes and Gayle thought that almost all the wineries they visited a couple of years ago had no fees, however things have changed as the Applegate catches up to the rest of the wine tasting world.  Still, a few had no charge for tasting, and a few refunded the tasting charge with a purchase, and the standard $5. fee was certainly less than the $25 and more fees in Napa or Sonoma.

While searching about for the winery links, I also found this little treasure about Tasting Room Etiquette.  Might have been a good idea to read this before we embarked on our day trip!

there is a book, After a lovely flight of whites and reds, and a purchase of a 2006 Anna Maria Cabernet, we ambled on down the road to the Fiasco   Winery.  I am not quite sure how the name came to be, but with another tasting fee and an attendant who wasn’t quite as personable, we decided that we were happy enough to check out the tasting room and move on to the next winery. 

The best part of Fiasco was the winery dog, and in their tasting room shop was a little book called “Every Winery has a Dog”, with some great photos and stories of the companion dogs that many wine makers seem to have.  We even met a few more as we continued on our way.

The prettiest winery, a new one called the Red Lily, just opened last fallWith a few stops in between, we came to the newer and incredibly lovely  Red Lily Vineyards .  Only opening their tasting room last fall, they have been making excellent wines for several years from their own vineyards around the valley. 

The grounds were gorgeous, and the attendants delightful.  We tried a taste of their beautiful and tasty Lily Girl Rose and decided it would be the perfect choice for our picnic wine for the day.  I am still wishing that I had purchased a few bottles of that lovely summer wine, but I’ll know where to find it.

Applegate Tasting (34)Gayle had come prepared with a wonderful spread of cheeses, crackers and flat breads, amazing gourmet pickles, olives and a feta olive oil garlic spread she had made, all with fine little dishes and pretty napkins.  The winery has a delightful picnic area by the river with shady tables and a bandstand for music.  They even provided us with a bucket of ice and glasses to enjoy our purchase with lunch.

Applegate Tasting (40)After our relaxing and tasty repast we ambled on up the highway to Gayle and Wes’s favorite winery, the big old barn housing the tasting room for  Bridgeview Vineyards and WineryWith no tasting fee here we enjoyed a flight of excellent, very reasonably priced wines, and discovered the great Pinot Gris and Dry Reisling that the valley had made famous.  After another purchase of some nice wines, I walked around in the vineyards trying once again to capture the feeling of that air and light.  Impossible.

and a winery catIn our happy haze ( the girls, not the driver!) we continued north along the east side of the valley to Wooldridge Creek Vineyards and WineryWe had all decided that perhaps we had tasted enough but that didn’t dampen our enjoyment of the beautiful grounds and tasting room.  Again we met a winery dog and  even a winery cat. 

admiring the gardens at Troon WineryPassing several more vineyards, we stopped in at  Troon Vineyard    to check out the digs and appreciate the beautiful gardens and vines.  Skipping the tastings for the rest of the afternoon was just fine.  After awhile it all starts to run together and I have no idea how you could keep on tasting all day.  Must take practice!

sharing good timesWe ended the afternoon at the Schmidt Family Vineyards , another of the oldest in the valley and possibly the most beautiful gardens of any of them. 

The tasting room was constructed in the old roundhouse for the railroad that once traversed the property and was gorgeous. 

perfect temperatures, lovely breezes, beautiful views, good conversationThe porches were cool and inviting, with views of the gardens and many comfy chairs and tables set about for relaxing with a glass of wine, or just relaxing and enjoying the conversation and the views.  Once again I tried to take photos of the breeze.  I am sure some great photographer knows just how to do this, but not me.  Still, when I look at the photo, I remember that warm breeze even if no one else has a clue. 

I took a LOT of photos, and if you want to check them out they are here

Here is the google map of our little day trip in case you are ever in Oregon and decide to do a little wine tasting in the lovely Applegate Valley.

our map with wes and gayleWe are now packing up for our three week jaunt to Colorado, South Dakota and Wyoming and by this afternoon the lush green of Oregon will give way to the wide open deserts of northern Nevada as we head east on curvy Highway 140 and then south to Winnemucca.  Yay!  We are on the road again!!

2012-07-19 Applegate Wineries